Joseph Stalin was the president of the Communist Party, also referred to as the first secretary of the Russian Communist Party and the supreme ruler of Russia from 1924 to 1953. Stalin died of a brain stroke and people around him were so scared to touch him that he was taken to hospital very late. He passed away by then,  nevertheless, during his 29 years in power in Russia, he was instrumental in taking the Russian state out of the clutch of obscurantism and backwardness to a modern age where Russia became the rival of the United States of America as a global power.

WWII and Stalin

Stalin also is instrumental in winning the Second World War against Hitler. This is no mean achievement as Hitler had built up a formidable war machine and the western powers had been unable to counter it. One cannot forget that he was almost a military genius, who planned the battle of France and occupation of Norway. France was destroyed in 40 days and Hitler landed troops in Norway at 5 places to completely outfox the English. He also mustered 3 massive Army groups that invaded Russia and almost brought Russia to its knees. If at that time Russia had surrendered then the West would have no choice but to accept Hitler as the most powerful person on earth. The man who stood between Hitler and Glory, Hitler and victory was Joseph Stalin. 

Though Western historians are reluctant to acknowledge or concede that the victory of the allies was due to Russia and Stalin yet many eminent military historians like Major General JFC Fuller and Liddel Hart have said that if Stalin was not there, the war was as good as lost. One will remember that in the winter of 1942, with the German Army just 30 miles short of Moscow, Stalin was advised to escape beyond the Urals and continue the battle against Nazi Germany from there. True to his character he refused and he took a decision to hold a victory parade in Red Square where he himself took the salute of Russian troops marching to the front to fight the Germans.

Victory

One can well imagine how this affected the common Russian.The word spread, Stalin their leader will stay in Moscow and then we must fight for Stalin. History records that the German Army was halted at the gates of Moscow and then in the counter-invasion, Hitler's army was pushed back into Germany. Victory in the great war is enough to guarantee the title "great".But Stalin did a lot more.He was the man who conceived of the five-year plan to Industrialize Russia.

Russia had always been the laggard of Europe but Stalin changed all that as Russian scientists and engineers began making great advances in science. This resulted in the first man-made satellite Sputnik 1 which was launched in 1957. Russian army and Airforce were modernized and this so alarmed General Eisenhower,  the US President that he ordered Russia to be ringed by bases.

Stalin and Russia

Stalin was no ordinary man one can see he was not an intellectual like Lenin but he was a man with a lot of horse sense who even Winston Churchill praised after meeting him at the Yalta conference. Stalin had his faults, he was a megalomaniac and many persons were sent to the concentration camps which was the brainchild of Leon Trotsky and Lenin. Many writers have written that life in Russia during the time he was in power only human-robot were created. This really does not stand to reason as Stalin was the first man who allowed the flowering of science. He was harsh on literature and so sent Boris Pasternak into exile. Yet the greatest advances in science and latest aircraft and bombers were produced because of the policy of Stalin. Robots cannot produce anything.

Assessment

 Stalin is no more and despite his faults, the Russians are nostalgic about him. They remember him with respect and I have no doubt that he deserves the title "the Great" in world history. The only ones who differ with this assessment are men like Gandhi and western historians who focus not on his achievements but on the negatives adduced to his name.


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